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Responding to Youth Violence Through Youth Work$
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Mike Seal and Pete Harris

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781447323099

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447323099.001.0001

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Using participatory research methods to study youth violence

Using participatory research methods to study youth violence

(p.47) Three Using participatory research methods to study youth violence
Responding to Youth Violence Through Youth Work

Mike Seal

Pete Harris

Policy Press

The chapter is primarily intended as an introduction to participatory research methods for practitioners. After outlining in detail the research methods they employed, the authors present some ideas that they feel make a contribution to the existing literature on participatory research. Specifically, they identify five significant areas for the practice of participatory research in contexts such as youth violence. The first of these areas is the need to continually affirm the epistemological stance of participatory research to all parties. Secondly, the need for critical analysis of local ‘expert’ knowledge. Additionally, the need for participatory researchers to cultivate an improvisatory disposition, and the use of peer researchers and the contingent nature of self-disclosure engenders ‘proxy trust’ and the symbolic as well as instrumental value. Finally, the need for notions of ‘action’ and ‘impact’ in participatory research to be understood in contexts other than the achievement of structural social change and to include recognition of the pedagogic and personally empowering products engendered through the research process.

Keywords:   participatory research, peer research, community philosophy, impact, improvisation, proxy trust

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